What were the other top 10 sports stories in 2019?
Looking back over the past the year, over 30 major sports stories were pulled from the weekly editions of the Falmouth Outlook. The staff narrowed that list down to the top 10 stories of the past year.
#10 Both the Pendleton County Ladycats and Wildcats had new coaches with the hiring of Jenna O’Hara and Samuel Elsbernd. O’Hara returned to the Ladycat team that she starred on as a point guard in the early 2000s. O’Hara won her first game in a thrilling comeback victory over Robertson County. Elsbernd moves over from Bracken County to lead a team that looks to rebuild after Dontaie Allen moved onto the University of Kentucky. Elsbernd led the Wildcats to three straight victories to start the 2019-20 season.
#9 Pendleton County High School Bowling team has their strongest team in the program’s history with an 8-1-1 record and a first place finish in the Simon Kenton Bakers tournament. They also beat perennial powerhouse Campbell County for the first time. The strength of the team is best indicated by Kyan Brewer setting a new individual school record by throwing a 277. It had been held by teammate
The next week, his brother Koby Brewer set a new record with a 279.
#8 The Pendleton County Recreation Mighty Pro team completed an undefeated season with a victory in the GCNKFYL Super Bowl.
#7 Once and twice, the Sharp Ladycats were conference champions as the sixth grade and seventh grade were crowned champions. The sixth grade Ladycats crowned an undefeated season with the conference championship. David Tackett was head coach of the sixth grade while Jenna O’Hara was the head coach of the seventh grade before she moved up to become varsity head coach.
#6 Nate Jones has spent the offseason wondering where he will play in 2020 while reflecting on a 2019 that saw many changes. In March, he was selected as a member of the 2019 NKU Hall of Fame class. “I’m honored to represent NKU in such a way. I cherished my time there both on and off the field,” said Jones about the selection. After a slow start to the season, Jones began to hit his groove with the Chicago White Sox when an injury and resulting surgery derailed his season. In August, Jones was traded by the White Sox to the team that he made his major league debut against, the Texas Rangers. “It’s a new chapter in our journey and a new adventure in this amazing life we get to live,” Jones told Falmouth Outlook in a text. The Rangers would release Jones after the season making him a free agent. Joe Speed, Jones’ agent, talked with Sam McClanahan in October about the free agent process and where he sees Nate in 2020. As the 2019 comes to a close, no signing has yet occurred but there has been interest from several major league teams.
#5 Pendleton County has a long history of successful athletes and athletic success which was evident by the eight individuals that were selected in 2019 to join a hall of fame. Bob Griffin and Jimmie Gregg became the latest members into the 10th Region Boys Basketball Hall of Fame. They joined Keaton Belcher as a member and who was selected as Pendleton County’s second basketball player to join the Northern Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame. Two former athletic administrators with Pendleton County joined hall of fames. Faye Thornton was honored to be a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association Hall of Fame and Gary Dearborn was chosen for the Kentucky High School Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame. As mentioned before, Nate Jones became a member of the NKU Hall of Fame and Brianna Crouch became Pendleton County’s first volleyball player to be selected to the 10th Region Volleyball Coaches’ Association Hall of Fame. Former Wildcat baseball player, Jeff Jones joined the UPIKE Athletic Hall of Fame for his exploits as a Bear baseball player.
#4 Wildcat Football Head Coach Brian Burgemeir led his team back to the playoffs in 2019 and was selected by his peers as Class 3A District 6 Coach of the Year. “I’m very proud of where this program is now. We’re competitive in both district and non-district games and have earned respect...Most of all, our players, love our team and the game. They’re having fun, making great memories, and developing important life skills,” he said. The team won its first three games of the season and a key matchup with Lewis County that would go along way to determine the last playoff spot. Pendleton County routed Lewis in a 42-0 victory.
#3 After four successful seasons of leading the Pendleton County Ladycats Fast Pitch program to unprecendented heights, Head Coach Mary Pettit stepped down. “Being this team’s head coach has been an amazing experience and I am blessed to have had this opportunity...I will be stepping away to spend time with my family, specifically our new addition, my son Boomer,” she announced via her Facebook page. The job opening was seen as one of the best in the area as the team is rated preseason as #22 in Kentucky. At the beginning of December, the Ladycats had their head coach. Rob Coffey, former coach of Highlands High School softball team, accepted the position. His teams won four regional appearances in the seven seasons he coached them and two regional titles.
#2 Oh, what a magical run it was for the Ladycat Fast Pitch team and the community that loved them. For most of the season, everyone saw the youthful talent and said the future was bright for the team, but the team decided to make the future their present as they won a 38th District title, a 10th Region title, a Semi-State game and was one of only eight teams to advance to the KHSAA State Tournament. After edging out Nicholas County in the opening game, the Ladycats dismantled Harrison County 12-1 for their first district title. In the region, they beat Scott High, GRC and Bourbon County in the championship game as eighth grader Kayley Bruener dazzled on the mound. She was masterful on the mound against 9th Region Champ Dixie Heights at semi-state in the 1-0 victory. The only run was from a single by Avery Himes who advanced on a bunt, groundout and scampered home on a passed ball. After a week of rain that postponed the state tournament, the Ladycats got to play in front of a large contingent dressed in red and black to cheer them on. They fell 12-0 to Central Hardin, but the trip there was magical.